Want to immediately get an inch or two on your vertical jump? Do you have a vertical jump test coming up you need to kill? Or do you just want to show off and touch the basketball rim. Either way, here is a very quick tip you can do to get a higher vertical jump in just one minute… stretch your hip flexor!
Wait! Static Stretching?
Yes, the dreaded static stretching. Anyone who knows anything in fitness and strength and conditioning will tell you that static stretching before an explosive activity is ridiculous. In many cases, they have some reason…although I have never been one for extremes. Static stretching in general will relax and slow down your muscle and won’t actively help to put it in a fast contracting state that is useful for explosive activity. However, this is an exception to that rule.
How Does This Magic Work?
Well, we have spoken in depth about how tight hip flexors can affect your body. Turns out they can affect your performance as well. First we need to think about the anatomy of the hip flexors, and this picture will help.
These muscles attach onto your lower back, so if you think about how to stretch them out you would need to have your leg straight or extended behind you. Now, in a vertical jump after you descend to jump and you explode up, your hip flexors are going from a contracted state into a very much extended state in a very short period of time. If these babies are tight, they will slow down that extension at the top, and hinder your jump. Get it?
A double whammy is that the hip flexors are the direct antagonist to the glute. There is a little thing called reciprocal inhibition that works in your body, which refers to how the antagonist can affect its opposite muscle. In this case, if you hip flexors are tight, your glutes have a fair few problems switching off and being powerful. If you want to jump, you need to have a butt. Plain and simple. You can’t produce significant explosive upward force if you don’t have your glutes working. Doing a static stretch on your hip flexors is just one factor that can help get your butt firing more effectively.
Pretty simple, perform a static hip flexor stretch on each side of your body for at last 30 seconds during your warm up. The closer to the activity the better!
Who would have thought you could improve your vertical jump in just one minute. Remember this won’t necessarily work for everyone, if you already have perfectly working and loose hip flexors it won’t make much of a difference. However, quite a few of us suffer from tight hip flexors and will be hindered by them.